What you don't know about the abortion bill

IMG_abortion-DISPLAY.jpg_2_1_I03TDB5M_L100728807.JPGThe NC Senate approved it’s version of HB 465 last night, the bill that would unnecessarily force North Carolina women to wait 72 hours before receiving an abortion. This is the provision of the bill that has garnered the most attention and that is causing most of the outrage. But believe it or not, it actually gets worse.

The original bill contained two central parts: the 72 hours waiting period, and a requirement that only doctors board certified as OB-GYN's would be able to provide abortions.  The waiting period is bad enough, but the doctor provision would have left roughly 40 of North Carolina's 100 counties without a doctor who could provide the service. Last night Senators changed that language to require a doctor be "sufficiently trained" based on existing medical standards to deal with complications from abortions. That’s good news.

But during its long trip through the House, the bill also picked up provisions unrelated to abortion altogether. Two proposals, originally sponsored as stand-along bills by Sen. Jeff Jackson, would crack down on sex offenders who commit crimes in other states and move to North Carolina and would make it easier for women to seek legal protection from domestic violence. While both were worthwhile bills individually, these provision were added only to make the bill more politically toxic for those who oppose the abortion restrictions to vote against the bill. The campaign ads basically write themselves – “Sen. Smith voted against a bill that would have but sex offenders behind bars!” It's dirty politics, plain and simple.

Now that the House and Senate have both passed different versions of the bill, it goes back to the House for a conference committee. What happens there is anyone’s guess, but we’re pretty sure it won’t be anything that actually helps the women of North Carolina.

Almost 3,000 of you have signed our petition calling on Governor McCrory to stand with women and stand against this bill. It looks like he will now be in a position where he must either allow the bill to become law or veto it. Let him know how you feel about this needless and politically crass bill.